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Twist Collective Blog

Twist Style Friday: Pinion

Every Friday we feature one of the garments from the magazine in a post about styling. We suggest different ways to wear the garment in question using mock-ups from Polyvore. We encourage readers to tell us what they think about these outfits via our Facebook page or Twitter, and if folks want to make their own outfits, please tweet them at us with the hashtag #twiststyle. You can find all of the Style Friday posts here.

Happy Friday friends! I hope everyone got a bit of time off in the last little bit to spend with nice humans, eat delicious things, and relax a bit. It's back to the grind for me this week, so I'm feeling a little less glittertastic, and chanelling more professional, put together kinds of looks. Don't worry, there still might be some wacky shoes in our future.

We're looking at Pinion this week. If you've been keeping up with Style Fridays, you know I love a cardigan, and this one is no exception. I think my jaw may have actually dropped agape when I first saw this sweater.

back view

One of my clothing problems is that I don't own anything plain. I love to buy and make special, unique, whimsical things -but- you can only wear so many wild and whimsical items at one time. I'm trying to learn how to incorporate more neutrals, but I just don't like spending money on clothes that seem boring to me. When I knit this sweater, I think I might use less contrast (like two shades of blue, or two shades of grey) so I could treat this amazing sweater like it was plain. I think it would still look just as special.

Toronto winters make me want to guard myself against the world a little bit. People are cranky; everything is a bit grey. I feel fortified if I am wearing something that makes me feel just a little bit tough, like dark lipstick, or a spiky ring. I think these two looks are both a little bit tough, but in really different ways.

Pinion two ways

I included a couple of shoe options for the femme-ier outfit on the left, because I know those weirdo boots are not for everyone. I couldn't resist them though!

So, how would you wear Pinion?

Design Process: Lavandula

Triona MurphyToday's post is brought to you by Triona Murphy, and it can also be found on her blog. Her first design, the elegant and playful Lavandula, appears in the Winter 2012 issue of Twist Collective. She tells us about bust-friendly designs, how she got through all that ribbing (you can too!), and how wonderful this yarn is. Enjoy!




I was incredibly excited to have my first Twist Collective pattern in the Winter 2012 issue. Here’s a peek into my design process (something I hope to blog about more often in the future, so I hope you like it!).

I started out with the idea of a lacy, v-neck cardigan. I knew I wanted it to be very fitted around the waist and have more ease in the bust–if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I’m all about the bust-friendly designs.

One of the best ways to flatter a figure is to make sure a sweater is fitted at the smallest part of the torso (which for many people is under the bust or a few inches below). I decided on deep ribbing to shape the waist, instead of my usual increases and decreases, since I thought that would complement the lace pattern nicely. I also liked the idea that the knitter wouldn’t have to worry about placement of the shaping.

Here’s the rough sketch I sent to Twist. I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination–so I was pretty happy with this one, haha:




I knew I wanted a simple lace pattern, but one that would be pretty and feminine at the same time. After swatching a few (okay, maybe five or six) different patterns, I settled on this snowflake lace. The swatch was knit up in Tosh and photographed in my DIY lightbox.




When I got the email telling me my pattern had been accepted, I was thrilled. When they told me they were sending me Sundara Yarn Sport Merino Two to knit the sample, I was beyond thrilled and into ecstatic! I’ve heard such rave reviews about Sundara yarns for years, and I just never got around to ordering any to try it for myself.

Let me tell you–I nearly swooned when I opened the box. This stuff is gorgeous. It’s as squishy and elastic as my beloved Madelinetosh plied yarns. The colorway they sent me, Monet’s Basilica, is a stunning lavender with perfectly layered purples and blues.

Then it was on to the knitting!

Full disclosure: even though I was the one who proposed it, I wasn’t quiiiiite prepared for the 12.5″ of 1×1 ribbing up to the waist. That, as I’m sure you will agree, is a lot of ribbing. I found I got into a rhythm pretty easily, though, and after a few inches, it wasn’t any more tedious than stockinette. Great TV knitting! The yarn was a pleasure to knit with, which helped a lot. My suggestion to anyone who’s feeling a bit daunted by all that ribbing: choose a yarn you love. It will ease the pain, I promise.

Once I sent the sample and the pattern back to Twist, it was time to wait impatiently for the issue to come out. When it finally did, I was blown away by how beautiful it looked.


Straight shot


I shouldn’t really have been surprised, because I always love their styling and photography, but it was such a trip to see it on something I designed!


Shoulder detail


You can see that the pattern didn’t change much from sketch to finished object–not always the case for my designs, let me tell you! But this was one of those magic ideas that just came together perfectly.


Everyone looks pretty when they laugh

My favorite picture from the shoot. Isn’t the model adorable??


You can click here to see more information about Lavandula (sizes, yarn requirements, etc.). The rest of the winter issue is stunning too, of course. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen it, head over and check it out: Twist Collective Winter 2012 Issue. I’m so proud and honored to be included in an issue with so many talented designers!

Knitting for Ourselves: Marnie's dream Esme and Eira

 We love showing you beautiful patterns in the pages of our magazine, but we also want to show them to you in new ways! Twist Style Fridays are one of the ways we work on this, but one of the limitations of a site like Polyvore is that all the clothes are shown on one body type! This feature is a way for us to show how we choose and adapt Twist garments to suit ourselves. You've met the Twist Team already on the blog, now you can follow this feature here if you want to know more about what we make when we knit for ourselves.




Production assistant and designer, Marnie, here, joining Carly in the Knitting For Ourselves series.


Marnie and pup

Age: 38

Height: 5' 3.5"

Body shape: Hourglass with a long torso and arms, straight broad shoulders and a swayback.

Occupation: Analyst by day, Production Assistant by night, Knitwear Designer on the weekends.

Interests: When I’m not working, or designing, I am generally reading, sewing, weaving, hiking, spinning, cooking, not doing housework (that’s a favorite), or just hanging with the pooches.

Location: Portland, Oregon

Personal style: I work from home so my style is best described as, “not naked” and “comfortable.” The first, I suppose, is optional, but we have a lot of windows. When I leave the house, I tend to favor unfussy and comfortable clothing; mostly jeans and doc martins, and mostly solid colors.




While I have knit a couple of small accessories, designed by friends, I generally don’t knit other people’s designs. I’m too busy with my own, but everything I design at Twist Collective is influenced by my own aesthetic preferences. I tend to avoid bulky fabrics and a-line silhouettes which I find less suitable to my figure. I love to include waist shaping and interesting detailing around the neck, which I find balances out my broad, straight shoulders. Garments like Mata Hari, Cecchetti and Bijou, all feature detailing that I love to wear. More casual pieces- like Zosia and Doppler- reflect my day-to-day style when I’m running errands and hiking with my dogs.

But if time were no object and I could knit my fellow designers’ projects, Twist would be my place to go. Honestly, my short list of projects would fill a dozen blog posts but I thought I’d Sophie’s choice it down to two that I’ve been dreaming about lately.

The First is Julia Trice’s Esme


Marnie's Esme


I love how Kate styled this garment, and I don’t think I’m deviating much from what she envisioned. I’d knit mine in a deep purple, but not so deep that it’d obscure the beautiful stitch pattern. I’d be most likely to throw it over whatever top I was already wearing around the house (most likely the shirt I slept in) and a pair of boot cut or wide legged pants and my favorite Doc Martin mary janes. I don’t really bother with accessories, just a purse and I’m good to go. There’s something so effortlessly refined about this piece. You can really wear it and live in it but it looks pulled together too. Its slight 1970s aesthetic makes it feel classic without being costumey.

On the rare occasion when my day job calls me down to the mother ship…er…corporate office, I tend to dress fairly conservatively in simple black or gray trousers and blazers, and add a pop of color with my shirts. This lets me pack only one or two jackets a maybe three pairs of trousers and change up my outfit with my shirt and accessories. Eira, by Ann-Marie Jackson, would be great for just such an occasion. I’d knit mine in a true red. It’s got a real understated elegance with the subtle tucks, neck detailing and buttons. It’ll look as nice under a jacket as it does on its own. I’d wear this with a pair of heels and just one or two pieces of jewelry to top it off.


Marnie's Esme


It may not be in the cards for me to knit every design I love, but I admit, I get a vicarious thrill when I look through other people’s FOs in Ravelry. Since I create most of the newsletters, it’s my job to find the FOs we feature each month. If you’ve knit Esme, Eira or any other project from Twist Collective, we’d love it if you shared it with the Twist Collective group so we can all admire your hard work.

Twist Style Friday: Granville Revisited

Every Friday we feature one of the garments from the magazine in a post about styling. We suggest different ways to wear the garment in question using mock-ups from Polyvore. We encourage readers to tell us what they think about these outfits via our Facebook page or Twitter, and if folks want to make their own outfits, please tweet them at us with the hashtag #twiststyle. You can find all of the Style Friday posts here.

Hello fashion friends. If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you might have seen that I was caught in a blizzard today and that is why this post is so terribly late. I was on a lovely getaway with some good friends near Mt Tremblant, north of Montreal. Most people go to the mountains in the winter to ski or snowboard. I did go along on a snowshoeing adventure with a little cajoling- which turned out to be pretty great- but mostly when I have a bit of time off, this is all I want to do:

Carly's knitting projects

That's Parade and Maroni, in case you were wondering, both patterns I am pretty wild about so far.

I digress. We are here for fashion, are we not? This one's a quickie! Last week I made some outfits for Granville, and the lovely and talented designer of the sweater in question, posted another outfit that she composed! I thought you should all see it, because it's lovely, and also because I really love it when other people get into this paper-doll fashion game thing. It's so fun, really. Take a gander at how Fiona Ellis would wear her lovely creation.

Fiona's outfit

How would you wear Granville?

Design Process: North Wind

Anna Mikuskova

Today's post is brought to you by Anna Mikuskova, the designer of the whimsical North Wind cardigan. In it, she shares her inspiration for this beautiful sweater; the happy coincidence of a stitch dictionary and a wonderful Johnny Depp film. You can find this post on Anna's blog as well. Plus, in case you missed it, we did a Style Friday with this sweater just a bit ago; check it out.




The Winter issue of Twist Collective came out a few weeks ago and I am thrilled that my design North Wind is part of such a wonderful collection. I could not wait for the issue to come live and see the photos of the project that I had spent months working on. How is Twist going to style it? In what kind of setting, what story?  Is the cardigan going to fit the model?


North Wind in Twist


North Wind started more than a year ago with a single cable. It was beginning to get chilli after a beautiful sunny summer and I had a warm and cozy cardigan on my mind. I wanted a classic piece with a lot of cables but also something a little different, perhaps a sideway construction? As I was browsing through Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, the chart for Fudge Swirl Braid caught my attention.  I was on a yarn diet and I had to turn to my stash for an appropriate material. I needed yarn that would show the cables well but would not result in a heavy fabric that could stretch the body of the cardigan,  yarn with an excellent stitch definition, light body and a good drape. The cherry red Rowan Kid Classic that I had bought years ago with no project in mind, seemed to be a good candidate and I started swatching. But as I was knitting this bright red mohair yarn, I got a new idea.  I remembered a scene from the movie Chocolat when the heroine Vienne and her daughter Anouk travel from town to town wearing matching red capes.  What if I make a handknit version of a cape? A casual hoodie I could wear with jeans and at the same time a cardigan I could put over a skirt or dress?


North Wind original


I rewatched the movie and  worked out the remaining details, A-line shape, large hood, oversized buttons. I usually prefer more understated pieces when knitting for myself but this time I decided to have fun and create a very playful garment.  I casted on and happily watched the bold cables form the body of the cardigan. And then I lost it. The several skeins worth of work, needles, notes, my project bag, everything vanished, probably after accidently falling from my always overstaffed handbag.  After several weeks of intense search, I finally buckled down and bought additional skeins of the same yarn (so much for yarn diet) and casted on again. I finished it just when the mood boards for Winter Twist Collective landed in my email. And when I saw that magic was one of them , everything fit into place.


on a bridge